In addition to the Google parent company, investors that participated in the autonomous driving unit's latest funding round include Andreessen Horowitz, AutoNation, Canada Pension Plan Investment Board, Fidelity Management & Research Company, Magna International, Mubadala Investment Company, Perry Creek Capital, Silver Lake, funds and accounts advised by T. Rowe Price Associates Inc., Temasek and Tiger Global.
Waymo had raised $2.25 billion in its first external investment round back in March 2020, which was later revised to $3.2 billion as of the end of June 2020. The company did not disclose its latest valuation in Wednesday's funding announcement.
The latest funding round marks the first since the departure of former CEO John Krafcik.
Krafcik, who led Waymo for five and a half years, departed the company in April to "kick-off new adventures," including "a refresh period, reconnecting with old friends and family, and discovering new parts of the world," according to a blog post at the time.
He further explained in a LinkedIn post that the rollout of Waymo One, the first fully autonomous, public ride-hailing service serving the Phoenix metro area, and the company's delivery service, Waymo Via, provided an opportune time to "pass the baton" to Chief Operating Officer Tekedra Mawakana and Chief Technology Officer Dmitri Dolgov, who now run the company as co-CEOs.
Mawakana and Dolgov said Waymo's new funding will help advance the company's self-driving technology, Waymo Driver, and continue growing its team.
"With tens of millions of miles driven on public roads across 25 U.S. cities, and tens of billions of miles driven in simulation, our experience has shown us, and our investors, the massive opportunity ahead," the pair said in a blog post Wednesday.
Waymo, which began testing its self-driving vehicles in San Francisco and the Bay Area in 2009, recently rolled out Waymo Driver on a fleet of all-electric Jaguar I-PACE vehicles traveling through the city's streets. In addition, Waymo Via has forged delivery partnerships with UPS, AutoNation and JB Hunt.
|UPS||UNITED PARCEL SERVICE INC.||154.91||+3.30||+2.18%|
|JBHT||J.B. HUNT TRANSPORT SERVICES INC.||189.80||+4.53||+2.45%|
The $2.5 billion is the latest cash to enter the autonomous vehicle space, following an announcement on Tuesday that Waymo competitor Cruise has received a $5 billion credit line from General Motors' financing arm to expand and scale its autonomous vehicle fleet, bringing its total war chest to $10 billion as it enters commercialization. In April, Cruise raised $2.75 billion from an investment round that included participation from Walmart, Microsoft, General Motors and Honda, bringing its total valuation to $30 billion.
Cruise is expected to begin producing its driverless Origin shuttles at a factory in Detroit in early 2023.